5 Canadian Expats Show Us Their Berlin
Take an advance look at Air Canada enRoute magazine’s cover story for March, an insider’s guide to Berlin’s diverse micro-neighbourhoods (a.k.a. Kieze).
An einem Sonntag im August
The Kiez: Kollwitzkiez, Prenzlauer Berg
“A Sunday in August” is a perfect representation of the Berlin esthetic: Candles, chandeliers and soft neon lamps light up the intricate art sketched on the walls and ceilings, as well as the second-hand couches and marble tables. It’s one of those places where you are equally at home refuelling with a latte in the morning or sipping a cocktail after midnight. It’s situated at the end of Kastanienallee, or “Casting Alley” as it’s known, thanks to the plethora of modelling agencies down the street – great for people-watching.
Kastanienallee 103, an-einem-sonntag-im-august.de
Our guide: Ryan Grant Little
Occupation: Global expert in social entrepreneurship
Originally from: Thornhill, Ontario
The Kiez: Mariannenkiez, Kreuzberg
This modern German restaurant is hidden inside the Bethanien Building, once a nun-operated hospital, hence the name (“Three Sisters”). It serves delicious locally sourced food for lunch, dinner and brunch. I can still taste the roast pork with red cabbage and buttermilk dumplings. If the weather’s right, check out the sunny Biergarten in the enclosed yard out back.
Mariannenplatz 2, 3schwestern.com
Our guide: June Chua
Occupation: Writer, editor and filmmaker
Originally from: Edmonton and Calgary
The Kiez: Akazienkiez, Schöneberg
Walking through this park feels limitless, even though you’re in the city. Start at the Schöneberg Town Hall, where JFK did his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech in 1963, and walk past Laax, a pastoral café among the trees. Keep going to the fountain with the golden stag atop a plinth and stop for a game of bocce, then on to the pond, which is full of storks and ducks. Berliners cherish and use their public spaces daily. Here, you can watch everything from a wedding reception to a yoga lesson.
Our guide: RM Vaughan
Occupation: Author and video artist
Originally from: Quispamsis (New Brunswick) and Toronto
The Kiez: Ackerkiez, Mitte
This church has kept the spare, rough-walled feel from its days under the East German regime, when anti-government demonstrators gathered here to organize their protests. Now, St. Elisabeth-Kirche is an event space that hosts installations, orchestras and choirs, who use it for practices. Grab a bench in the breezy front courtyard and listen for free.
Invalidenstrasse 3, elisabeth.berlin
Our guide : Sabine Devins
Occupation: Freelance writer and journalist
Originally from: Vancouver
The Kiez: Reuterkiez, Neukölln
Berlin is not a tall city, so this bar at the top of a parking garage gives you a good clear view of the whole capital, from the Fernsehturm TV tower to Potsdamer Platz. The tables and benches are set in a large urban garden. The planters and seats are built out of shipping pallets and bathtubs – even boots. It’s a great place to watch the sunset.
Karl-Marx-Strasse 66, klunkerkranich.de
Our guide: Sheraz Khan
Occupation: Urban planner and artist
Originally from: Etobicoke
For more recommendations from our expats, check out the March edition of Air Canada enRoute magazine.